Weisman Art Museum to receive $50,000 in stimulus funds

More than $1 million in stimulus money went to Twin Cities art organizations.

The University of MinnesotaâÄôs Weisman Art Museum is set to receive $50,000 in stimulus money from the National Endowment from the Arts, the organization announced Wednesday. Art organizations around the Twin Cities received more than $1 million of the nearly $30 million awarded by the NEA. Organizations must use the funds to maintain or create jobs. The Weisman will use the money to hire an assistant curator, museum communication and events director Christopher James said. The assistant curator position will begin this fall and be responsible for planning the reinstallation of art during the museumâÄôs upcoming renovation, James said. âÄúItâÄôs going to mean a lot to our visitors and the campus,âÄù James said, âÄúso weâÄôre really grateful to NEA for their support.âÄù The Weisman will undergo its $14 million renovation beginning next February and will double the amount of space in the museum by adding four new galleries, James said. The renovation is expected to be finished by 2011. Money for the renovation is privately funded through individuals and organizations, James said. Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and Target Corp. both made donations of more than $50,000 for the construction. The museum sees 60,000 visitors a year, James said. Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation box. The University of Minnesota is one of 33 colleges and universities to receive the grant. To receive the funding, organizations that have received a grant from the NEA within the last four years had to submit a proposal. The Weisman received a grant in 2006.